Becoming a State Farm Agent

Discussion in 'Getting Started Selling Insurance' started by shawn17ths, May 14, 2008.

  1. Sailor
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    Sailor Active Member

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    Let me just say this. I am from an SF family. I grew up with other agents and management as my family also. It used to be that their were 5 family members per agency opening. People were kicking down the doors to get in.

    Now its the other way around. There are so many openings and not enough agents. Agents stopped recommending others for the jobs. The type of people they are hiring, are ok being pseudo-employees happy to net 50k a year (if lucky)

    Dont get me wrong, I am grateful and the service and products are still great, but I am saddened at what has become of the future of the agency force.
     
  2. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Well-Known Member

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    A lot has changed. Talking with my father - you used to have a family agent who took care of everything from homeowners to auto.

    Now a lot of people are shopping price online - we are in the "Geico" age and the regular shops are getting hurt.

    I have no idea where the State Farm's will fit into the picture in 10 years but I don't think it'll be pretty.

    The kid coming out of high school now in 10 years won't be trudging into his local office. Likely all insurance will be bought online.
     
  3. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    Not sure on this. Geico, Progressive, e-surance, etc used to have some decent rates, so they could get started in the business. Now, they are some of the most expensive places to buy your insurance, with virtually every 'local' carrier beating them substantially. Of course, your area may be different.

    I know this, I get asked this all the time. I've had clients sit in my office and wonder how I am so much lower than buying it online. Not always true, but more often than not.

    I think people like not being hassled with a salesman, but they like personal service as well. Insurance is a maze, most people dont want to learn their way through. They count on a true advisor.

    There will always be a group that just wants to have insurance, they will buy in the lowest cost / most convenient manner. There will always be a group that wants to be insured, they will stay primarily with the agent force.

    Yes, there is definitely a difference between simply having insurance, and truly being insured.

    Besides, commercial insurance, financial services, etc, require in person sales. Most personal lines require in person sales (few carriers will take a risk without the agent inspecting it first). This may change, but it will take a long while.

    Dan
     
  4. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Well-Known Member

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    All I'm saying is the generation that's used to walking in a grabbing a chair is being replaced by college kids who are graduation and doing far more online.

    Our fathers couldn't compre State Farm to Nationwide without sitting eith each. Now they can be compared online - and sold online.
     
  5. Sailor
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    Sailor Active Member

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    I am not so concerned over the online big names. Most of our business is written over the phone. Granted I am in a metro area. I do household reviews in person if they want. All variable sales in person. The service my office gives is much better than the online only guys.

    I am concerned over the quality of the future agency force.
     
  6. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    Here in lies the problem. It turns out, Geico, Progressive, esurance, etc, found they couldn't sell online only, so they have people you can call. Between the 2, online and phone, people feel better about writing an app.

    The agency force used to be the person who came to your house, knew who you were, and could recommend the appropriate coverages based on the type of furniture in your living room.

    Today's agency force has migrated (for some legitimate reasons) to dealing largely over the phone, not meeting clients, doing almost exactly what the online companies are doing, but feeling for some reason, they are doing it better, or are more knowledgable. In many cases they do a better job, and have a better product knowledge, but not always.

    For todays agent to be profitable, at least initally, you have to write like mad. To stay that way, looking into the future, you have to truly develop relationships like mad.

    Turns out, that a lot of people like having a contact person they can go to if they have questions, someone who will take care of the issue from start to finish, so the client doesn't have to explain things over and over. This works well for the agency force, but, it won't take to long for the online companies to start to offer this type of service to premier clients.

    Dan
     
  7. aspiringwealth
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    aspiringwealth Member

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    I hear what you are saying about 'not being a golden opportunity' as it is sold. Question - Would you be posting the same remarks had you been accepted with State Farm? The post almost sounds bitter about interviewing several times only to not be accepted... just my opinion. I think opportunity is what you make of it. If you are going in realizing that you have a capital outlay in front of you, then what is the issue? I was told that there are costs. 100K seems high, especially if you can negotiate a larger sign on or book upfront. 50K, I can see that...
     
  8. aspiringwealth
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    aspiringwealth Member

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    Or were they were more qualified, interviewed better, or possibly seemed like they had the inside track because they networked more effectively with people 'inside'?

    Or they had access to the larger capital outlay you mentioned?

    If you don't know 'someone inside' or 'something' then how do you know that they did or what steps they actually went through? Do you think they gave you the whole story? You are their competition for the job!
     
  9. Quarter Pounder
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    When I made my comments I meant to express the experience I received. Additionally I wanted others, on this Forum, that I have been in contact with State Farm understand what they may experience. If I sound bitter to you that is an opinion you are entitled to. I agree opportunity is what you make it. But it is only an opportunity that State Farm, or any company you work for, is offering. My experience and my experience only was that I am a seasoned business owner with the financial statement to support what I was told they, State Farm, were looking for. What I was not told is that they l hire using nepotism first and business acumen second.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  10. Quarter Pounder
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    The individuals that were hired as potential agents were more effective than I was. This goes without saying since I was not hired. However I have heard, from State Farm sources, that the positions were filled by State Farm employees or current Agent staff that did not have to complete many of the steps I had to. This has been verified not by the individuals that were offered the jobs but from insiders that have been reliable sources in the past.
    I have 2 questions for you; 1. Do you work for or are you associated with State Farm in any way? 2. What is your location?
     
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